Some of us need more reasons to watch the NFL besides love of the game and fantasy football. That’s where sportsbooks come in. I started betting on NFL games this year and have decided to share my weekly picks with you. I’ll keep track, and post my record as the season goes on. Home team is in caps. Here are my picks for Week 16 in the NFL:
Pittsburgh (-7.5) over ST. LOUIS
Pittsburgh will come back with a vengeance after losing their last two games. Cleveland nipping at their heels for the division title provides extra motivation.
CAROLINA (+13) over Dallas
I like Matt Moore’s enthusiasm, and I don’t like T.O. pouting on the sidelines for the past two weeks. Dallas better hope Romo’s thumb heals or they are going to lose all the momentum they worked so hard to build this season, not to mention home field advantage.
ARIZONA (-10.5) over Atlanta
Both teams will be a little deflated with Arizona officially out of the playoffs and the Petrino hangover still hovering around the Falcons. Arizona is at home though and should easily beat a team that had more turnovers (5) than completions (4) last week.
Green Bay (-9) over CHICAGO
This is a simple question of motivation. Green Bay still has a chance to claim home field throughout the playoffs, and the Bears have…a chance to develop Kyle Orton?
CINCINNATI (+3) over Cleveland
Cleveland isn’t used to games that matter at the end of the year, and I’m betting they show their inexperience by letting this away game slip through their fingers.
Kansas City (+4.5) over DETROIT
Detroit is on a six-game losing streak and wondering what happened. Kansas City has some young players like Brodie Croyle and Kolby Smith who are still fighting to make a name for themselves going into the offseason. I like Kansas City in this one.
Houston (+8) over INDIANAPOLIS
This will be an interesting game. The Colts will be resting most of their starters in an attempt to get healthy for the playoffs. The Texans are playing well right now and would relish any chance to beat their annual tormentors, the Colts, even if they aren’t playing all their starters.
JACKSONVILLE (-13) over Oakland
Jacksonville is looking very good right now, and Oakland will be without Justin Fargas, their lone bright spot on a dismal season. Look for a heavy dose of Fred Taylor and a JaMarcus Russell sighting once the Raiders fall behind early.
MINNESOTA (-6.5) over Washington
This pick was a tough one. In the end, it came down to Minnesota’s defense and whether or not Todd Collins could exploit a defense that will be geared up to stop the run. I suspect he can’t.
NEW ENGLAND (-22.5) over Miami
New England just seems like a team that would enjoy stomping Miami right after their first victory of the season. Tom Brady is still chasing Manning’s single season TD record. I expect no less than 5 TD passes from him this weekend.
NEW ORLEANS (-3) over Philadelphia
I really like the Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, but the Saints will be fighting for a playoff birth and are at home. McNabb won’t be taking any risks as he contemplates where he’ll be playing next year. New Orleans rides Drew Brees and Marques Colston to victory.
BUFFALO (+3) over New York Giants
I like Buffalo in the battle for New York. When I look at the Giants, I just see a mentally soft team. The only Giant who might have some huevos would be Shockey and he is out for the season with a broken leg.
Tampa Bay (-7) over SAN FRANCISCO
Shaun Hill had a good game last week, and I’m happy for him. But there is a big difference between the Bengals and Buc’s defense. Welcome to the real NFL.
New York Jets (+9) over TENNESSEE
Is it a moral victory when you cover the spread and don’t get beat by 24 points? Vince Young looked good last week–too many dropped passes by his receivers though. Titans win but in a close one.
SAN DIEGO (-9) over Denver
Was that really Phillip Rivers completing 27 out of 30 passes last week? San Diego is peaking at just the right time. Getting the ball to LT might have something to do with it.